Dirty choke holds. Serious injuries. Dangerous, high-flying leaps. It's all part of a wild and wacky spectacle called the Lucha Libre - or free fight.
It's a wrestling style unique to Mexico. From big city arenas, like the one in Mexico City, to a makeshift ring in the tiny town square in Jilotepec, crowds of all ages pack wrestling venues to cheer on their favorite Luchadores. And the die-hard fans insist the Lucha Libre is the most electrifying form of pro wrestling on the planet.
Amid this spectacle is a rising star of the Lucha Libre; an unassuming Prairie girl from Winnipeg -- Sarah Stock. Here in Mexico, she's known as Dark Angel, and the fans love the athletic sensation who proudly displays maple leaves on her costume. What makes Dark Angel a crowd favorite is her daring, breathtaking moves inside the ring. But the 26-year-old petite powerhouse is not your average jock.
Stock was an honors student at the University of Manitoba, on track for a career in medicine. But along the way she took a very, very sharp turn in her career path.
"I was not enjoying what I was doing," recalls Stock. "But while I was studying I was also kickboxing and really enjoyed it, the whole physical aspect and from there, I just decided I wanted to try some other sort of contact sport."
Wrestling fit the bill and when she heard about the Lucha Libre, Stock bought a bus ticket and headed south to Nuevo Larado, Mexico. She had a contact number with a Canadian trainer and didn't speak any Spanish. But Stock was a quick learner who had excelled in French at university, and was soon fluent in Spanish.
Stock settled in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey. There, she lives a simple existence in a downtown apartment. She says she doesn't need much to live but that's an understatement -- her digs are downright Spartan.
Her wrestling jobs take her across Mexico, usually travelling by bus. Stock tends to sleep on the journey, so she doesn't mind the long hauls.
Still single and career focused; Stock has fallen for the easygoing Mexican lifestyle.
"Maybe it's due to the heat but people seem to take things a lot easier, a lot lighter," muses Stock. "From what I've seen, the Mexicans love to laugh, you know they love to joke around and take life a little less seriously. Some of the things that are important in Canada aren't all that important here.